FDA Launches New Dietary Supplement Education Initiative for Consumers, Educators, and Healthcare Professionals

SILVER SPRING, MD., June 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched a new initiative, Complete your knowledge, to help educate, inform and expand the understanding of consumers, educators and healthcare professionals about dietary supplements. More than half of Americans take dietary supplements daily or occasionally. Today Complete your knowledge provide reliable information about the potential benefits and risks associated with dietary supplements, such as vitamins, minerals and herbs, that they may consume.

“Dietary supplements can be valuable to your health, but taking certain supplements can also carry health risks. It is important that consumers have a comprehensive understanding of dietary supplements as well as the ability to identify and use safe supplements beneficial to their health,” said Douglas Stearn, deputy director of regulatory affairs at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “These Supplement Your Knowledge resources will help provide consumers and healthcare professionals with the facts to make informed decisions when determining whether to use or recommend dietary supplements.”

Every day, millions of Americans take dietary supplements for a variety of reasons, whether recommended by their healthcare professional or on their own. Some supplements may help consumers meet their daily needs for essential nutrients or help improve or maintain their overall health. But dietary supplements can also carry health risks, so it’s important to stay informed. As part of the FDA’s ongoing efforts to educate the public about dietary supplements, Complete your knowledge includes the following materials:

  • For consumers: Public education videos and fact sheets with important information about dietary supplements, including how they are regulated and potential benefits and risks. These materials are also a useful resource when speaking with a doctor, nurse, dietitian, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional before taking a dietary supplement.
  • For educators: Teenagers can be particularly vulnerable targets for misunderstanding what dietary supplements are, and they are often unaware of the potential benefits and adverse effects that dietary supplements can have on their bodies. To help high school students assess the accuracy and credibility of the information they may see and hear about dietary supplements, the FDA has developed Science and Our Food Supply: A Review of Dietary Supplements (2021 Edition). This program aligns with current national educational standards and supports educators looking for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities for their classrooms. This program can be adapted to science, health, and other related courses.
  • For healthcare professionals: The FDA, in conjunction with the American Medical Association (AMA), has developed a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program to help physicians and other healthcare professionals understand how dietary supplements are regulated, provide information to patients about their use, and recognize and report adverse events to the FDA. This free CME program includes three videos and supplemental educational materials and is available on the FDA Healthcare Professionals website. Interested physicians can also access these materials for free and earn 1 AMA PRA Category 1 credit on the AMA Ed Hub.

The FDA advises consumers to speak with their doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional before deciding to purchase or use any dietary supplement. One of the reasons for this recommendation is that some supplements may interact with medications or other supplements. If a consumer believes that a product may have caused a reaction or illness, they should immediately stop using the product and contact their healthcare professional. The FDA also encourages consumers and healthcare professionals to report adverse reactions associated with FDA-regulated products to the agency using the Safety Reporting Portal.

Public health and safety regarding the use of dietary supplements are matters of great importance to the FDA. Complete your knowledge is part of the agency’s action plan to give individuals useful information to make informed decisions about using dietary supplements. Help raise awareness of this important initiative by using the FDA Dietary Supplements Social Media Toolkit and find additional dietary supplement information at www.fda.gov/dietarysupplements.

Related information:

Media Contact: Courtney Rhodes202-281-5237
Consumer requests: 888-INFO-FDA

The FDA, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, protects public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and safety of drugs, vaccines, and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency is also responsible for the safety and security of the food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, electronic radiation emitting products and the regulation of tobacco products.

SOURCE US Food and Drug Administration

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